All this talk about high school reunions and my interactions with my fellow HS alumni on Facebook have me thinking just what about high school was so damn miserable. Just why did I hate it so much? Why did I feel the need to isolate myself so much to the point where I was happy to graduate and never look back?
I’ve come to the sad, lonely and painful realization that my problems with high school are my fault. Do you know how hard that is to admit after fifteen years? Maybe this is another sign of being a grown-up, or the self-realization that comes with turning thirty, but there it is. I was extremely shy, uncomfortable in my own skin, desperately trying to avoid being labeled a nerd, band geek or anything else I was labeled. I was trying so hard that I shunned everyone and anyone and missed out on forming lasting relationships with anyone. What a sad, sad realization that is, folks. I could blame it on my parents – my mother desperately wanted me to be popular and pretty and was always telling me to put on some make-up to make myself prettier – but I can’t. The fact is that I preferred to live in books and did anything possible to avoid dealing with the real world.
Jim was my salvation because he showed me how to live outside of books. I met him in January of my senior year in high school. There was a whole soap opera thing that occurred thanks to his ex-girlfriend, who happened to be in my calculus class at the time, which definitely affected my overall view on high school, but once I graduated, he began to show me that there is a fascinating world out of ink and paper too. He saw something in me that I didn’t know was there. It may have taken fifteen years, but as he told me today, I have good friends now – the kind that will last forever. I only wish that I could have done this fifteen years ago. I would have become friends with some amazing people, and I probably would not have been quite so lonely for so long.
To those of my high school class of 1994 that actually read this, I apologize for the way I treated you all. I acted superior and snobbish, and I had no reason to do so. There is nothing wrong with being a band geek. There is nothing wrong with being a nerd, or a goody-goody, or a bookworm. I like so much more than books, but that was the one thing I hid behind to avoid any awkward situations. Rather than overcome any shyness, I chose to hide. I wish I could have gotten to know you all better than I did. I think we would have been great friends and hope that we can become closer friends now.